The Daily Bork

May 18, 2005

"Horrible windmills" = "tourist attraction"

'Windy hole' view of Palmerston North blamed on turbines

Supporters of the Tararua 3 wind farm extensions point to tourism as a positive spin-off to having windmills in the area - but opponents suggest the opposite.

Fitzherbert East Road resident Eddy Fischer said wind farm developments are doing a lot of harm to national perception of Palmerston North and Manawatu. A talkback radio survey about three months ago asked listeners to name the worst place to live, Mr Fischer said.

"Palmerston North gained the most votes by an overwhelming margin."

The city was described as a "windy hole" even by people who haven't visited, and callers were asking: "Why would anyone want to live there? It must blow all day there, why else would they put all those horrible windmills on their hills?"

Thanks to wind turbines Palmerston North is seen as a windy, unattractive place, Mr Fischer said.

The last submitters gave evidence against the proposed development at the fifth day of the resource consent hearing yesterday.

Farmer David Argyle said he regularly saw native falcon or karearea in the sky above his farm.

When he attended TrustPower's open day in April he was disappointed that when he mentioned the karearea, their existence was quietly doubted

"They are certainly in these ranges at present and as the Aokautere Forest is milled, more karearea can be expected to inhabit the area," Mr Argyle told the hearing.

Turbines kill birds everywhere else they exist - just because bird strikes are not counted in New Zealand doesn't mean turbines don't kill birds, he said.

"Our natives birds have been decimated by thoughtlessly introduced incompatible species. Here we are introducing another: -the turbines."

The hearing concludes tomorrow.


Palmerston North is a city in the lower North Island of NZ. It is quite windy.

Now, regarding tourism... would YOU visit a city just because the skyline is covered in turbines? No, didn't think so. But "tourism" is the catch-all rationale for most any project in NZ if you want to push it ahead against opposition.

And where are the greenies defending the native falcon? Do turbines trump birds if the dead birds aren't counted?

Maybe someone should advocate the falcons as a tourist attraction and complete the triangle. Then let's see which side the eco-blitherers come down on.

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